BTOES Insights Official
May 08, 2021

iBPM Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Speeding up the proposal phase in project business by 300% using an intelligent tender document screening approach

Courtesy of Siemens's Torsten Gassan, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Speeding up the proposal phase in project business by 300% using an intelligent tender document screening approach' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at iBPM Live Virtual Conference.



Session Information:

Speeding up the proposal phase in project business by 300% using an intelligent tender document screening approach

Identifying risk extremely early in the project business processes was the key target to develop the intelligent tender document screening approach.

Currently, the systematics are used in a broader and more holistic way to enhance proposal processes and get much more speed while reducing the reading time of large or many documents

  • The intelligent tender document screening approach
  • Most interesting use cases and benefits
  • How to implement it
  • Results and outcomes of different usages and scenarios

Session Transcript:

Germany, I would like to welcome Thorsten Ghassan, he's ...

with us to talk about applications, of artificial intelligence. Your documents, screening proposal process, is really bringing business process management and technology under the same lenses.

Thorstein is a senior consultant, a seamless advancing, a new organization within the seamless AG.

He's delivering integrated solutions from consulting to design to implementation and supporting unique digital journeys, his passionate about risk and project management, and drives the optimization and digitization of project business processes. Today, thoreson will show how to speed up project business with a really smart documents screening thorson, it's a real pleasure to have you with us. Thanks for taking your time to, to educate us to showcase such a wonderful application from Munich, Germany to the world, very much. Look forward to your presentation.

Thank you, Josie, and thank you for for having me here today.

Let's share my screen right now.

Right, It looks good, it looks perfect. So let's, let's get started.

Thanks Julia for the introduction and the content over and good morning.

Good afternoon, or good evening, depending where all of you allocate it.

My name is Torsten, coming from the Siemens AG in Munich Germany and I have the pleasure today to show you how we speeding up the proposal phase and project business by 300%.

You're using an intelligent documents screening approach, Court, case plot.

dgsdgBy the way, key spot is not only, well, not only SLO, it's your processes by increasing work efficiency.

It also reduces risks, unplanned cost, delays, claims, and reputation issues.

Keen to hear more about it.

Well, let's have a look on my agenda.

My presentation is simply divided into three parts. First of all, I will tell you quickly where exactly do I come from within the huge Siemens family?

And what is really new here?

Down, I will show you how we speeding up proposals by using key spot and explaining what Kesa part is really about.

Finally, I would close the presentation, we have a Q and A session together with Josey.

This is the Siemens company.

I don't want to bore you with any facts and figures about the Siemens Eiji, which I guess is well known as global technology powerhouse.

Active since, more than 170 years.

Really new and interesting, is the new setup of the whole company.

As you might know, since February of this year, we have a new management part, led by our new CEO, doctor Volek Bush, and a totally new organization, since October, last year.

With digital industries, we focus on automation and digitalization in the process, and manufacturing industries.

Smart infrastructure stands for Intelligent Infrastructure or buildings, and distributed energy systems.

Boo, mobility.

We are a leading supplier of intelligent mobility solutions, fall Wail, and road transportation.

Siemens also holds a maturity, STEC, in the publicly listed company, Cemetery Athenaeus.

In addition, segments, poets tax in the steam, its energy, a new, global leader in the transmission and generation of electric power that has been listed on the stock exchange since September last year.

So a lot of things changed in the last month.

Or this seamless family.
4:51The place where I am personally coming from it's a yellow marked one in the middle of the slide Seaman's Atlanta.

Venter delivers integrated solutions from consulting to design to implementation and supports Uniq digital journey's end to end.

We have more than 8000 experts.

Well, it's about and enable companies to unlock the digital future by supporting their unique, digital rotating journey from start to finish.

I am specialized in the operations consulting, the yellow part, in the consulting portfolio pyramid on the right side, to foster successful project businesses in the entire project life cycle in various industries.

So we are Siemens, are very experienced in managing projects because project business has been a very strong part of the ... DNA and our consulting portfolio's since yes.

Starting with the first large-scale project in 18 70, where Siemens delivered the first European Telegraph line between London and Calcutta.

Btog CTAOver the year, seaman's delivered different kinds of projects and solutions.

I went to work from subsidy converter elements over huge gas turbines for huge power plant solutions up to remote metros or high speed trains.

Today, seaman's stats more than thousand projects per year.

And as you see in the colorful graphic on the right side, the object business accounts for half of our all our backlog with roughly eight $80 billion.

And this is a really essential part of Siemens success.

Having all this in mind, I will introduce key spot which helps to cope with whisks and problems in project business.

I bet all of you here has already experienced that the world is changing, beat him up, and it's becoming more and more complex.

For instance, customers expect shortening of all project phases for even more complex solutions.

Especially in the early beta phase of a project, time is running very, very fast.

The big theme needs to analyze a large amount of text like terms and conditions, laws, and standards, and technical requirements in a very, very short time.

This can be tricky and biggest, the risk to overlook important passages.

Secondly, this Watson motivation to develop Key Spark years ago, formerly known as the risc DNA.

Don't worry only the name changed in the last year, but the solution is still outstanding.

So, among others, it enabled its proposal teams to produce high speed proposals with fast reaction times and high quality results.

Typically questions to be answered by experts.

For instance, are there any showstoppers into customer requirements?

Maybe the customer expects expect a specific performance parameter, which cannot be guaranteed, like a product or solution availability of 99.99%.

That's unbelievable, and cannot be guaranteed.

Or another question, are their requirements that lead to unplanned costs in the past?

Maybe the customer asked for specific and it's pensive E H S Requirements, which has led to significant unplanned costs in the past, in blast projects.

Or finally, it's this fixative cation optimized for a specific competitor.

Maybe the customer is using a competitor specific wording in the specification, which indicates that the customer, ..., aims to get the competitive solution, or that the competitor was deeply involved in the preparation of the specification, hence, has more chances to win the bit. And you might want to invest your time and money in a more present, promising offer.

So, Casebook. Happy to answer this questions here.

And makes text evaluation much, much more easier.

But why does case? But exactly.

A web based solution, or smart document, screening, saving, time, and money when data mining your whisks opportunities, potential causes of unplanned costs or delay, all further business specific content.

With key spot, you can screen bandwidths of PDF documents at once.

Your content specific summary, we'll give you a structured overview of the results within minutes and finally, will increase your working quality and efficiency.

What, what does this means?

Let's have a look on the right side.

Off the slide, this magnifying glasses, a bunch of documents will be screened with key spot, and to show each individual user only there was specific findings.

An engineer, for instance, only gets the relevant findings, the technical findings, and then lawyer, for instance, gets only the information. He needs to know.

All this, will it be seamlessly integrated in existing processes and to landscapes?

But how do the final ... results look like?

Here is an example of the screening results in that PDF reader.

As stated before, the results can also be integrated in other tool landscapes.

Here, the screening results contained discreet, original document with content related markups, screening bookmarks, and indexes for efficient text evaluation by experts.

Meaning the exemplary engineer with the blue color coat has a look on the blue mock ups in the original PDF file.

He can easily navigate through the content related hits with the bookmarks on the left side, or with an index's in the lower part, off the screen.

Additionally, a summary provides an overview of all analyze documents for easy navigation to mock up content according to business specific tasks of the experts.

The experts gets also a ...

of all analyzed documents, which are most relevant for me, depending of the number of hits in the document.

And on the other other side, he knows exactly which documents I'm not relevant to it in detail, all at all, because of the low number of it's in the document.

This sounds all, perhaps a bit magic, but the screening process behind for deaf and user is quite simple.

Key spot combines advanced text analyzes technologies with digitized expert knowledge from the business side to valuable results.

The advanced text analyzes will be performed on our secure server using the web browser.

You see, the user can easily enter the key spot screening portal to upload documents in PDF format or hold ...

with hundreds of PDF documents, and can download the screening results there.

Important to say here, there's no need for additional client hardware, or software, only the web browser, and the standard PDF reader, which is I guess, well-known and available for everyone.

Will it be used?

Furthermore, integration an already existing tool environment is possible, for example, in existing commenting, or requirements management tools to ensure smooth integration in existing processes.

Also, smoothly, integrated in the screening process is the optical character recognition, which ensures the screening of scanned PDF files.


The automatic recognition of, I would say, are neat and the page selective application, and show us fast evaluation of the entire content.

Also for scanned PDF files, without machine readable text.

Finally, the individual expert from the business, we'll evaluate the results, according through their business specific tasks.

So, we do not evaluate the final results at all.

It is still in the responsibility of the expert to decide about the relevance of the specific findings and how to deal with it.

Because the expert knowest hits his business best, and we are delivering the base for fast and qualitative decisions.

To get this base, four fast, and qualitative decisions at topic specific search model, easily call dictionary needs to be created together with the topic experts from the business and from the key spread experts and leading, or in lean workshop sessions.

These dictionaries consists of advanced search criteria, like passwords, phrases, and complex patterns, to highlight only the relevant content for the specific experts in the document.

The combination of expert knowledge and company specifics leads to optimize document evaluation.

bye increasing expert efficiency because they are saving a lot of weeding time and propose the preparation time.

By avoiding recurring causes of unplanted costs, delays, claims, and reputation issues.

Because, the expert gets the relevant parts highlighted in the document, where past projects have suffered with specific customer requirements off the customer.

And, finally, the digitalization of expert knowledge, because this digitize knowledge creates, creates the possibility to use and spread the know-how throughout the whole organization and to avoid brain drain due to fluctuation, for instance.

There are many other use cases for keys, but application.

beside, the already mentioned optimization of propose the process by efficient screening of large customer specifications, Starting from daily screenings of the deck document, pages, like daily business news, monthly domain papers, quarterly company reports, up to large and less frequent screenings, like any kind of contracts, requests for proposals, or large technical specifications with hundreds or thousands of pages.

I collected just a few exemplary use cases sorted by screening size and frequency in the graph on the left side.

But, this assignment, to a specific area in this graph, is just exemplary and can be totally different from another perspective.

Be creative to adapt kis but capabilities to specific business needs.

Besides this acceptable use cases, I have with success always with me.

Here we are, the first one, speeding up of the bid process is the base for the topic of my whole presentation today. And I will explain this one on a next slide in more detail.

It's the second one, it's a success story coming from Siemens energy in the area of energy transmission.

The bit him is preparing many offers based on complex technical and commercial specifications with hundreds of pages.

There's only limited time.

four offer preparation with hi calculation accuracy.

Furthermore, there is the risk of missing important technical requirements, and contractual clauses.

With half of case, but, we significantly reduced the reading time by 34% with adequate consideration of important requirements, but, how do we got this strange figure, 34%? It's strange.

It has been quantitatively measured, doing a detailed evaluation within more than 20 projects by the organization itself.

They compare it, the waiting time, the offer creation, and the perspective calculation, over all involved functions and got this impressive time saving of 34%.

In the end, the investment for key spot paid off already in the very first year.

If you compare the initial implementation cost, and they're recording cost savings per year.

The third one, it's coming from the US, a U S organization in the business area of smart infrastructure.

The organization has a high number of project per year in the double digit thousandths, with small size of roughly 100 K.

There's only at very limited time for proposals, setup, and contract handling, and the latch risk of missing important requirements, and contractual clauses.

In the end, we implemented, key spot, to improve the contract management in the offer, as well, as, in the execution phase, and decreased unplanted cost by Arctic, but consideration of important requirements, and contractual clauses, with SLO weighted high quality offerings.

So, coming to the main story here, this one is from the ..., Energy Business Unit for Power Plant Technologies and Solutions.

The whole organization has been paste with several and complex bid and proposal processes, especially long idle times, extended iterations, and recalculations path hinder, ask proposal preparation.

That's very common in process improvement projects.

We analyze the current proposal processes with all the different categories of tech to throw it act and locations.

By focusing on essentials we defined piloted tid and implement it add detailed, new proposal including our smart document screening solution, case book.

As final result, the organization got a new, highly accepted proposal process and speed it up the proposal lead time by 300%, meaning they are no able to produce a proposal with Anne.

Screenshot (4)And instead of 30 days, finally, the organization more than doubled the number of proposals generated per year.

I guess this is a significant improvement and a great success.

Coming to the end, here are some short facts about the ... solution.

More than 10 million pages has been analyzed so far by more than 5000 users around the world.

Since go live, in 20 13, we continuously improved our solution by inclusion of state-of-the-art technologies and more than designs.

Today case, but it's able to analyze this 100 documents with thousand pages for 10 different topics in 10 minutes, hundred documents, thousand pages, 10 different topics in only 10 minutes.

That's impressive.

More than 500 topic specific dictionary's has been created over the years, which are running on two dedicated secure data centers.

one is in Europe and one in the US.

Because due to the fact that now how all documents and Genova coming through from the US and not allow it to be transferred and through assessed out of the US, we have been motivated to build up a second secured data center directly. In the US.

We have a variety of satisfy power user within the Siemens company and the businesses, Smart infrastructure, Siemens, mobility, Kaput functions, as also in the new estimates, energy and the array of oil and gas.

The HVDC, electric power transmission system, and rotating equipment due to the fact that that's my new organization estimates advantages going more and more external.

We are also started recently pilots and implementations outside of Siemens in several listed companies and various industries.

To quickly sum it up with key spot, we offer and uniq consulting approach, combining process, consulting with operation of smart documents, screening beside, direct benefits, out of key spots, implementation like the increasing efficiency of expert work while evaluating content or the fast and robust de identification of showstoppers and requirement.

Or as a systematic transfer of knowledge and learning into daily business, just direct benefits.

The key spot implementations, but there are a lot of indirect benefits because key spot can uncover potential inefficiencies in existing processes and can derived concrete improvement measures.

As example, when talking to experts out of different departments to develop the individual dictionaries, We often had the situation that different departments are looking for the same content, like Ambient conditions. What does say about temperature was, what is the humidity there?

And it's 10 different teams looking for the same content, it might be inefficient and leads to different results.

After analyzing the root causes, it turns out that there is missing collaboration and trust between the departments.

And this resulted in double work and diverse results.

one, process improvement we implemented, was set up of overlayer, free division of responsibility, regarding this specific topic, and only one, dictionary for IBM conditions, which results are communicated to the whole team.

Finally, by consideration of all these different benefits, you can avoid recurring causes of unplanted costs, whisks, delay's, claims, and reputation issues, for the whole project.

Already, in the very, very early proposed phase, with limited effort for the key spot implementation.

That's all from my side.

Thank you, for the opportunity to present, here, in case of interests. Or in case, they ask the questions in your mind, after the Q and A session coming next.

Please, do not hesitate to get in contact with me.

All have a look on our key spot, and bought the website to get more information about our solutions.

So, now it's time to the final point of my agenda.

It's the Q&A session with Jessie.

And I will close here and hand over to Justin.

Thank you. Thank you very much, ..., what a fascinating journey on the development of this technology. Over time, listen, To set the stage. A little bit of the audience. There are a number of questions that have come up that we're gonna get you, but the first question is if you can give a bit of a historical perspective on how how what, what should they call key spot key spot was developed? I remember a few years back actually having an interview with with the team as Siemens and where this was something that was only being used internally at Siemens, really. Nobody.

dgsdgKind of outside of the company knew about it just yet Because it was, was like an internal process improvement. You're really using it to kind of do better proposals and do do better for the processes at the company. So, tell us a little bit about that. Evolution. How where did this all start? And then at what point, you decided that, you know, we have something here that could be a product that others outside of our company could benefit from? How has that progression?

Yeah, Yeah. Good question. Yeah, right. Our solution has a long long history.

We started with the development in 20 13 with the so import master thesis and this was so impressive that we build an app the app developed it further and further and we came from the corporate technology from the Siemens side and has the target too Optimize Siemens processes. So, Siemens is a big company and they have a lot to do within our own departments, so we're just focused on helping and improving our own processes.

Doing discussions, that's an external word.

Going to conferences like this, we got the impression that, wow, OK, the outside outside of cement.

There are a lot of companies which really are interested in our solution and why not go external and, yeah, move our solution to the external world.

It's quite simple.

That. that's, that's really fascinating, and then that I don't remember what point You'll be kind of product that ties the solution. And you went outside to start in 20 13, and what year roughly you said you started offering X outside of seamless.

It was width the transfer from ... technology. Over the consultant unit, two estimates, Advanta, and the Demons Atlanta was built up from the ... AG to support digital journey. It's outside from Siemens.

And this was the reason why we had been transferred to this organization to support external markets with our solutions.

So, So, this was a very recent that it happened. That seamless came to bear.

Yep, that's yeah.

Last year, last year, excellent. Wow. So, this is, this is leading Edge stuff for people who didn't work at Siemens and had access to this to this functionality before. That's tremendous. Thanks for that perspective. one of the questions that William Fuller had, what I consider to be a really good question.

When you look, it's remarkable to see the impact of this solution proposal processes.

And then, and some in the audience who do not work, perhaps on large infrastructure projects or maybe EPC type of projects, may not have a good appreciation for how elaborate and complex. Some of these proposals can be with thousands of pages.

I mean, very technical information mixed with very illegal language, sometimes, and chose to digest all of that stuff can be, can be quite difficult.

So, his comment was that, this is remarkable, in terms of the speed up up, the cycle time of the process. It's remarkable in the, in the, in the, in the in the non performance issues that you're able to identify and the areas that you can focus, the expertise, the human expertise to reveal, so it's really remarkable.

But one other question that he had, which I thought was really insightful, is that, did he did we understand that, you know, the quality, you may have improved that, The speed may have improved, but did it actually affect your win rate for those proposals? I know you can process more proposals, but did it impact the win rate of the proposals?

Of course, it's due, because when you can double your proposals, you can double your, your hit rate oil, you're winning projects.

And, remember, the one example, the question I waste on, the very first slides is about up.

Is there any competitor wording in a proposal?

And if it's, if this is a fact, Aye.

Should think about, to put my energy in another proposal with it's more yeah, useful to bet on, for my hich weight ratio.

So, I can optimize it, two different ways, More proposals and more focused proposals understood. So intuitively, that that's definitely makes a lot of sense. I don't want to assume that you actually have capture what the delta of doing right before and after was have you?

Not specific OK, very well, that's terrific.

And Thorsten, what does it look like for someone who, you know Who is new to this type of application?

Let's say I'm a law firm and that I'm I have complex, you know, Contracts that I'm reviewing and and I think, you know, this could be an application for some of our legal legal processes, though, That we go through What would look like if I if you could guide us through a typical implementation on something like that. What would look like?

Oh, good question.

The key spot implementation will be typically performed in, choose, in three different steps.


Starting with the scoping phase, together with the business, we detailed the specific use case, which is the most important one. You need a specific and good use case to get the power out of key spot.

And you defined the project specifics to tailor the whole Kingsport implementation that this is the base is the first one, and after after just set the base.

The second phase is the dictionary creation phase, where a dictionary, always a search model, is created for each specific topic in lean workshop sessions together with the key experts from the business.

So, this face is the most intensive part of the implementation, and it really depends on the specific use case and the number of topics, and in both departments and the third phase.

The final phase is the rollout and the usage phase where the end user really benefits from the power of key spots And collect feedback to further improve the dictionaries for a long, long time.

Because language is changing day by day, and you do have new products, new solutions, the customer, changed the wording of the specification.

So, your dictionary needs to be up to date, two, gets really to the important points of the documents.

So this is a good, let's, let's go a little bit deeper on the second step. I'm getting my experts together.

I'm kind of collaborating now on building kind of the the, Mike, in my beginner mind, is what's like the initial dictionary, right, and expressions, and things that, I assume, that we're looking for, terms and expressions that are meaningful or important that we need to scan for. So, so, that's a lot of human input into the process.

Which is, then, you know, one could argue that if you have that human input with some good search capabilities, then you're just doing a search. So, what is the intelligent portion of this process? That is maybe a machine learning or cognitive computing part of this process? How does it build on on this human input?


It looks on, on the, on the rule based approach, based on the experts input, That's the first and important one, but we also use artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

We considered different language models and word embedding in our solution.

So, with, with this, we are able to look for, for example, a fire resistance cable. Yeah.

We are looking for fire resistance cable and, for instance, and we will find also flamed proof bias, totally different wording, but the same content.

And with this artificial intelligence, and natural language processing, we are able to find not only the correct wording, you will have, you get with control F, search. Yeah, it's broader, and we are more flexible and coming really to the related content, which is needed to evaluate specification by the experts.

This is such a great example, what you just mentioned, therewith lit, the fire resistant cowboy hats, and then the flame retardant type of, you know, analogy.

That's, that's a great example, I think, to bring light to how it extends this human capabilities and again, if you're looking at documents with thousands of pages, this can be really helpful in focusing the reader's attention to some of the should. Should should the key areas.

Now, so, if I, you know, maybe it's self evident, but I'm gonna ask the question anyway, ha, you know.

Way, other than proposals, we kind of Good, we had a deep dive on proposals here, What other areas that you have seen, there are, that you think that can be really useful, or they can really benefit from the use of the keys, this key spot technology. What have you seen in the marketplace that, maybe, was like what you expected?

This is just like a proposal process, but maybe other areas that are not so obvious that the key spot can actually help?

To say either still, then the audio connection is very bad right now.

Yeah, I had a little bit of a gap of mine, as well, I don't know if you heard the question. Or, would you like me to repeat it? Yeah, I get this Not totally.

Yes. So the question is, well, what do you see in the marketplace in terms of areas that can really benefit from key spot application? I mean, we've talked about proposals. Are there some other niches or areas that they're really can benefit from this type of application?

It is.

Can be from market search, It's Where are we looking for? What are the competitors are doing?

Analyzing, articulates, bollocks, all this stuff, which takes hours, days, months to read about it, You can use this application.

We also use the application or the solution for a European tender platform, which gifts 3000 new proposals out to the world.

And we are searching all these 3000 proposals for, for our own consulting company, which fits to our portfolio.

And out of 3000, after scanning this case, but we got 10, and analyzing this 10, we think about, Hmm, OK, makes sense to bet on this today, or, no, let's, let's wait for the day. And you see, 3000 per day, working through this, makes no sense.

Takes too long, but having 10 on my map, searching through it, does it really fits to our portfolio? Makes a lot of sense.

And it saves money and time.

What a great example, storage.

Then Tara said, Well, congratulations to the team for building an improvement in innovation internal to the company, Realizing its capabilities, and then saying, You know what? This is great, It create value for us, it can create value for many other applications in the world. And the, and you're out there now. You know, working with many other organizations to help them in their own journey. So, congratulations on development of the technology, on the application, for value creation, and, and for sharing their insight and expertise of our global audience today.

Screenshot (4)It was a pleasure to be with you.

Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are stars, gas, and directly from Munich, Germany, a real, real interesting development of artificial intelligence and application to business processes. I hit a chord with me because I'm having spent nearly 15 years in the in the energy business. I have a deep appreciation for the complexity of proposals in in the and the and projects and infrastructure and the and how much time organizations expand doing this things that he just described.

And this is, this is, this is really an impressive application. So thank you for sharing that and that we are going to be changing gears at the top of the hour.

We are going to go from Munich, Germany to back to the United States. And we're gonna move from Siemens and the industry and industrial applications and infrastructure.

Sure, health care. While we're gonna welcome to great leaders in the healthcare industry, doctor William maples, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Institute for Healthcare Excellence. And with him, we're gonna have Jennifer ..., who is the Chief Experience Officer for the Institute for Healthcare Excellence.

They're going to be talking about healthcare, BPM, and specifically building a culture of a positive culture in health care that really drives business improvements and innovations. So you do not want to miss that. I'll see you back at the top of the hour with doctor Williams and Jennifer. And in the meantime, Shawna checkout are posting on LinkedIn under, my name is Joseph Ferris. Go check out what other people are, saying, pose your questions that haven't been answer here. Say, a big congratulations to our speakers, and sponsors for allowing us to share this experience together. So, for now, taking a break, See you back at the top of the hour.


About the Author

more-Mar-26-2021-03-47-15-01-PMTorsten Gassan,
Senior Consultant - Project Business,

Torsten is Senior Consultant at Siemens Advanta, a new organization within the Siemens AG, delivering integrated solutions from consulting to design to implementation and supporting unique digital journeys end-to-end. He is passionate about risk and project management and drives the optimization and digitization of project business processes.

In recent years, Torsten was in lead of exemplary projects in various industries:

•Design and implementation of project and enterprise risk management processes and tool landscapes

•Comprehensive risk analysis for large and complex projects

•Development of project business tools and methodologies

•Conception of company-wide knowledge management for project business

•Development of business models for different solutions


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